Creation of solitons and vortices by Bragg reflection of Bose-Einstein condensates in an optical lattice
RG Scott, AM Martin, TM Fromhold, S Bujkiewicz, FW Sheard, M Leadbeater
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS | AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOC | Published : 2003
We study the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates in an optical lattice and harmonic trap. The condensates are set in motion by displacing the trap and initially follow simple semiclassical paths, shaped by the lowest energy band. Above a critical displacement, the condensate undergoes Bragg reflection. For high atom densities, the first Bragg reflection generates a train of solitons and vortices, which destabilize the condensate and trigger explosive expansion. At lower densities, soliton and vortex formation requires multiple Bragg reflections, and damps the center-of-mass motion.